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Is China too big to fault?

11 May 2016
In October 2010, Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel peace prize. New research from CMI shows that the Chinese sanctions had a substantial negative effect on Norwegian direct exports to China. In addition, an analysis of Norway’s voting pattern in the UN suggests that Chinese sanctions may have been effective in changing Norway’s position on human rights issues. The potential consequences are chilling.

Ending child marriages: Not only a question of law

4 May 2016 | CMI Field Notes
The new Marriage Act in Malawi has been hailed for raising the legally prescribed age of marriage to 18, yet the truth is that there is no absolute minimum age of marriage in Malawi and that legal inconsistencies threaten the enforcement of the law.

Assisted return not a permanent solution for all asylum seekers

3 May 2016 | Blog post
Many asylum seekers who choose assisted return are from a country destroyed by war and conflict. More than half of those who return to countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq plan to migrate again. Assisted return is a viable type of support to assist with the return, but is not sufficient to prevent large numbers of people once again leaving insecure countries of return. Only minor changes are required, however, to increase the potential for permanent return.

Evaluating assisted return

2 May 2016
Many asylum seekers who opt for assisted return come home to countries ruined by war and conflicts. More than half of the persons who return to countries like Afghanistan and Iraq plan to remigrate. Small and uncostly changes in the assisted return programme can increase the chances that people stay.

Corruption risk management: a smarter option for development aid

2 May 2016
A risk management strategy that can identify, assess and propose specific mitigation measures for corruption problems can help better address corruption. When done right, corruption risk management can contribute to increase development impacts.

Shared Prosperity

15 Mar 2016 | The Chr. Michelsen lecture 2016: Kaushik Basu
Kaushik Basu is an Indian economist and academic who is Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist of the World Bank. In the Chr. Michelsen lecture he will discuss the normative properties of shared prosperity and the implications for actual policymaking, especially in the presence of globalization.

Announcement of the Chr. Michelsen Prize 2016

15 Mar 2016
The Chr. Michelsen Prize for outstanding development research 2016 is awarded to Francesca R. Jensenius, Senior Research Fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI).

Honduras slipping back into authoritarian rule

4 Mar 2016
Honduras has become one of the world’s most dangerous countries for activists. In the early hours of 3 March yet another prominent activist was murdered. Indigenous leader and human rights and environmental activist Bertha Cáceres was shot by unknown gunmen in her own house.

The Syrian War

15 Feb 2016
The Syrian chaos triggered in 2011 is presently the world’s #1 problem. Join UofB's one day conference on the Syrian War on 15 February.

Leveraging open government for engaging citizens and improving transparency

25 Jan 2016
A series of case studies on the implementation of Open Government Partnership (OGP) reforms found that civil society participation fosters successful implementation, and that the limited capacity of local governments and civil society actors can be an obstacle for reform. Political commitment and strong coordination at the country level also improve the implementation record of OGP National Action Plans.

Can REDD+ be corruption-free?

11 Dec 2015
Manipulating baseline forest data, double-counting project benefits, and skewing monitoring schemes have been known as likely corruption risks for REDD+. But how do these risks map onto the actual political economy of REDD+ implementation in selected pilot countries?

Why did the Tunisian dialogue quartet win the Nobel peace prize?

9 Dec 2015
As the Tunisian dialogue quartet was awarded the Nobel peace prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee hailed the Tunisian quartet's essential role in advancing peaceful democratic developments. To make further advances, the Tunisian people must regain their sense of participation and significance in the process. If this happens, the Nobel peace prize can make an actual contribution to safeguard democracy in Tunisia.

Reality defeats good intentions: The power of religious leaders in Touba

27 Nov 2015
Legislation is a widely used tool for increasing the number of women in politics. But laws seeking to promote gender parity come short in facing the ‘sociological realities’ in Senegal, as the case of the holy city of Touba shows.

The best way to tax natural resources

24 Nov 2015
-A 'good' natural resource tax regime is one that does not undermine - or strangle - the development of the ordinary tax system, says CMI researcher Odd-Helge Fjeldstad. Different segments of the tax system 'interfere' with each other. If the most resourceful companies and individuals do not contribute with tax revenue due to tax avoidance and exemptions, this will affect the taxpaying behaviour of others.

Protection of civilians: Why they die in US strikes

10 Nov 2015
The US military strike that devastated the MSF hospital in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan on 3 October generated profound, if short-lived, outrage in much of the world. The US government promised an investigation, and in late October appointed a military panel to do so. Yet its investigation is unlikely to address the more fundamental questions this attack raises: Why have US-airstrikes repeatedly produced catastrophic cases of “collateral damage” in Afghanistan?

Towards a common standard for development agencies’ integrity systems

9 Nov 2015
An eventual OECD integrity guideline for development agencies should emphasise communication around ethics regimes and control systems, assessment and management of corruption risks, and moving towards joint responses in donors’ integrity systems.

How to make sense of a billion Tweets?

3 Nov 2015 | Open Seminar - Panel debate
Powerful communication tools in the pockets of billions and on our desktops have changed our ability to engage with the world through groups, apps, sites or maps. We organize ourselves, and participate in worldwide dialogue, through such tools. How are these tools used, particularly in developing countries, for humanitarian relief, governance and accountability, and civil society mobilization?

Digital Revolutions: New Information Technology Tools in 21st Century Politics

2 Nov 2015 | Workshop
New digital tools represent a technological revolution, and are at the same time revolutionizing politics. They promise great potential for mobilizing people, ideas, and resources in new and profound ways. Join us in exploring the potentials and pitfalls of these new tools.

Angola’s Financial Sector: A Roundtable Report

30 Oct 2015
Angola's rapid economic growth over the last decade has been driven almost exclusively by the oil sector: 98% of Angola’s exports are linked to this sector. Yet, Angola has also seen explosive growth of its financial sector. Why has the Angolan financial sector grown so rapidly? How are Angola’s natural resource sector and its finance sector linked? How does Angola’s financial sector interface with the global economy?

Steps to limit the endemic corruption around junior mining companies

4 Oct 2015
High environmental risks and questionable development outcomes characterise the mining industry. A myriad of small companies operate in competitive, high-risk, high-reward settings with weak institutions that fail to enforce regulations. Such conditions are highly conducive to corruption, violence, and environmental destruction.

The European Commission pledges to do more with development partners to tackle corruption

2 Oct 2015
The U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre´s call for more EU action to curb corruption in non-EU partner countries hit a European nerve.

Maputo - Ethnography of a divided city

25 Sep 2015 | Movie preview
This is a film about a city. Maputo is a young African capital city emerging at the frenetic rhythm of the global financial demand. Some say it’s not meant for everyone. People from different backgrounds welcome us into their neighborhoods and help us see through their eyes the real Maputo.

Five things you need to know about the SDGs

25 Sep 2015
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been criticised for being too broad and vague. What are the chances of success?

How to prevent corruption in water management

24 Aug 2015
Corruption keeps people thirsty. It damages drinking supplies and sanitation and makes water inaccessible and unaffordable. Because dirty water can be deadly, cleaning up the water sector is a matter of life and death. Below is some advice for what donors can do to help prevent corruption in water management.

No magic bullets for reconciliation

17 Aug 2015 | Rwanda
When societies go from military dictatorship to democracy or from internal armed conflict to peace, one of the toughest choices facing the government in the new order is how to deal with past violence. Great hopes have been pinned on transitional justice mechanisms, but the anticipated positive effects of transitional justice mechanisms on the process of restoring peace or (re)constructing democracy may be too high.

Development aid: A blind spot for EU anti-corruption efforts

10 Jul 2015
The European Union needs to develop a coherent strategy and invest in tackling corruption outside its own neighbourhood.

Kindergardens and shootouts

6 Jul 2015 | Blogpost from Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro:
So far, kindergartens and shootouts have by and large been completely unrelated issues in my world. Not anymore. Now, for the past days, every morning around 7.30, I have slowed down and scouted cautiously: Does anyone seem tense, watchful? Are there any police troops in a state of mobilization hiding somewhere close? Are there any heavy fireworks all of a sudden, alerts of that something is about to happen?

Print media in Kuwait: Pluralism with a bias

25 Jun 2015
The number of newspapers in Kuwait has skyrocketed, but their owners are all closely affiliated to the political elite. Does this lead to a certain bias in the newspaper’s electoral coverage?

Gender, sex and religious freedom in the context of secular law

19 Jun 2015 | Roundtable
Why and how do discussions about religious freedom and secularism coalesce around questions of gender and sexuality? What is the relationship between the regulation of gender and sexuality and the regulation of religion in modern secular societies?

Law and religious (un) freedom in the global era

18 Jun 2015
Is promoting "religious freedom" as a legally enforceable "right" the best guarantee for the free exercise of religion and for the accommodation of difference within deeply plural societies? This conference explores religion in and beyond law.

Media Development, Cross-cultural Communication and Public Diplomacy

12 Jun 2015 | Conference on China-Africa Communication

How to curb corruption in emergencies

4 Jun 2015
At lunchtime 25 April Nepal was struck by a devastating earthquake. Following high death tolls, numerous charitable organisations scurried to the South Asian country in order to provide humanitarian aid on the ground. The United Nations alone made a flash appeal for close to half a billion USD in emergency support.

Jobs for the Poor: The Role of Private Sector Development

2 Jun 2015
Minister EEA and EU Affairs, Vidar Helgesen, presents Norwegian priorities. Mary Hallward-Driemeier (World Bank) shares findings on expanding job opportunities in developing countries. Followed by panel debate.

Magnificent and Beggar Land - Angola since the Civil War

22 May 2015 | Book launch
'We live in “an oligarch’s ideal world”. Western countries barely even pretend to disapprove of kleptocrats any more.’

Violence against women in Afghanistan: Getting away with murder

19 May 2015
On 19 March, Farkhunda was lynched by an angry mob on the streets of Kabul. She had been falsely accused of burning the Quran. In a swift trial, four men were sentenced to death, eight to 16 years in prison. The Farkhunda trial is a statistical outlier. In Afghanistan, few men are punished for violence against women.

Covering up a massacre in Angola?

19 May 2015 | Will the international community take a stand?
In mid-April 2015, news emerged about the killing of nine police-men in Angola's Huambo province. The incident involved the police and members of Juliano Kalupeteca's "Light of the World" religious sect. In the following days, grizzling reports emerged of a massacre of perhaps hundreds of sect members. We do not yet know the truth. Angola's government appears to do its utmost to prevent knowledge of it to transpire. Will the international community remain passive?

The balancing act of moderate Islamist politics in Tunisia

12 May 2015 | CMI Field Notes
Discussions over the role Islam should play in public life, are raging in Tunisia. A veiled Tunisair flight attendant caused uproar in the Tunisian Parliament recently, writes researcher Mari Norbakk from fieldwork in Tunis.

Corruption hunters - investigating and prosecuting financial crime

11 May 2015 | Panel discussion
Norad’s international corruption hunters network meets in Bergen. Hear how they work to prosecute corrupt criminals.

Educating Afghan children: Blinded by numbers

8 May 2015
Access to education has been one of the main priorities for Afghan authorities and the international community for the past 14 years, but despite formidable investments in the country’s educational sector, many Afghan children leave school without being able to read or write. What has gone wrong?

100 years since the deportation: “The Armenians are a nation of widows and orphans”

24 Apr 2015
Today, Armenia commemorates the starting date of the massacre on the Armenian people. On 24 April 1915, leaders of the Ottoman Empire arrested Armenian intellectuals and leaders in modern day Istanbul.

Armies, militias and the state in the Middle East

10 Apr 2015 | Workshop on security and statehood
Kjetil Selvik organizes workshop on security and statehood in the Middle East

Policing the Favelas: Reform, Rank, and Resistance in Rio’s Pacifying Police Units

24 Mar 2015 | Rio, March 2015
Felipe doesn’t like it much, shootouts occur almost every day, but he knows that he can’t show any signs of weakness, so he tries to keep up appearances. Two weeks after arriving at Fazendinha he was shot in a confrontation with armed traffickers.

How can Norway best support Afghanistan?

24 Mar 2015 | Afghanistan Week 2015:
The current situation in Afghanistan is the subject of two opposing narratives: one is a success story about international support and involvement since 2001; the other is a story where much has gone wrong and everything can only get worse. Agreeing on a narrative that is closer to the truth is crucial when deciding what form Norwegian support and involvement should take in the future, write Arne Strand and Liv Kjølseth.

The harsh realities of life

10 Feb 2015 | CMI Field Notes
I am in Malawi on a short field trip to interview some of the main actors involved in pro-women policy processes in the country. On the road to Mulanje from Blantyre in southern Malawi the scenery is beautiful. It is hard to imagine that only a couple of weeks ago this district was one of the worst-affected by the flood disaster.

Playing the Ethnic Card? The political game in Malawi

4 Feb 2015 | CMI Field Notes
The good (but not so new) news from Malawian politics is that some of the democratic basics are in place, making the somewhat impaired democracy keep stumbling on, writes CMIs Inge Amundsen and Gift Sambo from the field.

Civil-military relations in Venezuela…by the pool

27 Jan 2015 | CMI Field Notes
In Venezuela, views on the relationship between civilian politics and the military are highly divergent. Yet, at the pool club Circulo Militar el Lagunito all boundaries between civilians and the military are blurred. In this social club, anyone is welcome, no questions asked. The idea of civil-military alliances is at the core of CMI researcher Iselin Åsedotter Strønen's field work in Caracas.